|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Industry||Animation studio, planning and production|
|Founded||October 19, 1962|
|Headquarters||Musashino, Tokyo, Japan|
|Owner(s)||Nippon Television (54.3%)
Takara Tomy (20%)
Production I.G (11.2%)
|Divisions||I.G Tatsunoko 1987–1993|
Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. (株式会社タツノコプロ Kabushiki gaisha Tatsunoko Puro?), previously known as Kabushiki gaisha Tatsunoko Purodakushon ( 株式会社竜の子プロダクション?), often shortened to Tatsunoko Pro (竜の子プロ or タツノコプロ Tatsunoko Puro?), is a Japanese animation company. It was founded in October 1962 by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida along with his brothers Kenji and Toyoharu (or by the pen name "Ippei Kuri"). The studio's name has a double meaning in Japanese of "Tatsu's child" (Tatsu being a nickname for Tatsuo) and "sea dragon", which was the inspiration for its seahorse corporate logo.
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Since the studio's inception, Tatsunoko has specialized in television production; by contrast, rival studio Toei Animation, focused chiefly on feature films and was just beginning to move into TV production when Tatsunoko was formed. The studio debuted in 1965 with the TV series Space Ace. Since then, many legendary figures in the anime industry have worked with Tatsunoko, including Mizuho Nishikubo, Hiroshi Sasagawa, Koichi Mashimo, Katsuhisa Yamada, Hideaki Anno (Tatsunoko provided animation work on the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series), and Kazuo Yamazaki. Sasagawa, is notable for bringing his fondness for "gag"- or comedy animation to the forefront in Tatsunoko series such as the Time Bokan (1975) franchise.
The translated and edited versions of the studio's more successful animated series, such as Hiroshi Sasagawa's Speed Racer (1967), Gatchaman (1972), and Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) are credited with bringing international attention to Japanese animation. Although it carries a strong roster of action and science-fiction anime titles, Tatsunoko became known for several widely acclaimed fairy tale and fantasy-based series for younger children, such as Minashigo Hutch (1970), The Adventures of Pinocchio (1972), Temple the Balloonist (1977), The Littl' Bits (1980), and the Bible-based Superbook (1981).
The company provided some financial assistance on the Macross TV show (1982, adapted as part of 1985's Robotech) some time during its run, in exchange for various rights. They later licensed Macross to Harmony Gold, who then produced Robotech. This created a long-standing legal feud between Harmony Gold/Tatsunoko and Studio Nue and Big West Advertising. While siding with Nue and Big West in Japan, Harmony Gold maintained that they had all rights to the Macross franchise in the United States.
In October 2000, Tatsunoko, Electronics Application (Eleca) and Japanese toy company Takara Co., Ltd. produced and released a Japan-only PlayStation exclusive fighting game Tatsunoko Fight, featuring characters from four established Tatsunoko franchises, as well an original series created exclusively for the game, Denkou Senka Volter (電光石火ヴォルター lit. "Lightning Warrior Volter"?).
In June 2005, Takara purchased a majority stake in the studio. Tatsunoko then became a subsidiary of Takara Tomy, the new company created following the subsequent merger of Takara and TOMY Co., Ltd., in 2006.
Several of today's top Japanese animation studios have their roots in Tatsunoko. Studio Pierrot was founded in 1979 by former Tatsunoko employees. J.C.Staff was founded in January 1986 by Tomoyuki Miyata, who previously worked at Tatsunoko. Production I.G was established in 1987 as I.G. Tatsunoko, which was a branch for the production of Zillion led by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa. Coincidentally, Production I.G later acquired 11.2% of Tatsunoko. Studio XEBEC also traced its history to Tatsunoko, as it is an offshoot of Production I.G, and Koichi Mashimo, who previously worked at Tatsunoko, founded Bee Train, which existed as a subsidiary of Production I.G until 2006. Kenji Horikawa left Bee Train to form P.A. Works in 2000. Radix was founded in December 1995 by former Tastunoko staff. Asread was formed in 2003 from former XEBEC staff. Wit Studio was formed in 2011 from former Production I.G staff. TNK was founded in 1999 by Teru Kato, who previously worked at Tatsunoko.
Tatsunoko's latest major project is the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars fighting game, a collaboration between Tatsunoko and video game company Capcom that features characters from both companies. It was also recently announced that Tatsunoko and Marvel Comics will collaborate on a joint television project and other ventures.
On June 2, 2010 IG Port announced that its subsidiary, Production I.G, would purchase 11.2% stake in Tatsunoko studio. Production I.G President Mitsuhisa Ishikawa joined on as a part-time director for the studio.
At Anime Expo 2013, the North American licensor Sentai Filmworks had announced that they signed a deal with Tatsunoko to license and release some of Tatsunoko's titles, including Gatchaman and Casshan.
- The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee (Mitsubachi Monogatari Minashigo Hacchiand La Abeja Hutch) (1970-1971)
- The Funny Judo Champion (Inakappe Taisho) (1970-1972)
- Hyppo and Thomas (Kabatotto) (1971-1972)
- Animentari Ketsudan (1971-1972)
- Mokku of the Oak Tree (Saban's Adventures of Pinocchio) (1972-1973)
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman) (also Battle of the Planets, G-Force: Guardians of Space, Eagle Riders) (1972-1974)
- Tamagon the Counselor (Kaiketsu Tamagon) (1972-1973)
- Demetan Croaker, The Boy Frog (Kerokko Demetan, U.S.: The Brave Frog) (1973)
- Casshan, also simply Casshan (Shinzo Ningen Casshan) (1973-1974)
- Adventure of Korobokkuru, 1973 (co-produced by Topcraft)
- New Honeybee Hutch (Shin Minashigo Hutch) (1974)
- Hurricane Polymar (1974-1975)
- The Song of Tentomushi [Ladybug] (Tentomushi no Uta) (1974–1976)
- Tekkaman: The Space Knight (Uchū no Kishi Tekkaman) (1975)
- Time Bokan (1975-1976) (co-produced by Topcraft)
- Goliath the Super Fighter (Gowappā 5 Godam or Gowapper 5 Godam) (1976)
- Paul's Miraculous Adventure (Paul no Miracle Daisakusen) (1976–1977)
- The Time Bokan Series: Yatterman (Time Bokan Series Yattâman) (1977–1979)
- Ippatsu Kanta-kun ("Home Run" Kanta-kun) (1977–1978)
- Temple the Balloonist (Fūsen Shōjo Tenpuru-chan) (also Temple the Balloonist, Sabrina's Journey) (1977–1978)
- Tobidase! Machine Hiryuu (1977, with Toei Doga)
- Gatchaman II (Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman Tsū) (also Eagle Riders) (1978-1979)
- Once Upon a Time... Man (1978, co-produced with Procidis and various broadcasters)
- The Time Bokan Series: Zenderman (or Zendaman) (1979-1980)
- Gatchaman Fighter (Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman Faitā) also Eagle Riders (1979-1980)
- Gordian Warrior (Tōshi Gordian) (1979-1981)
- Daddy-Long-Legs (Ashinaga Ojisan) (1979, TV Special)
- The Littl' Bits (Mori no Yoki na Kobitotachi: Berufi to Rirubitto) (1980)
- The Time Bokan Series: Time Patrol Tai Otasukeman (Rescueman) (1980-1981)
- Muteking, The Dashing Warrior (Tondemo Senshi Mutekingu) (1980–1981)
- The Time Bokan Series: Yattodetaman (1981-1982)
- Gold Lightan, The Gold Warrior (Ougon Senshi Gold Lightan) (1981-1982)
- Superbook Series One (Anime Oyako Gekijo) (1981–1982)
- Dashu Kappei (Dash! Kappei, a.k.a. Gigi la Trottola, Chicho Terremoto) (1981–1982)
- The Time Bokan Series: Gyakuten! Ippatsuman (1982–83)
- The Flying House (Taimu Kyoshitsu: Tondera Haosu no Daiboken) (1982–1983)
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982-1983) (Animation production only, co-produced by Artland, created by Studio Nue)
- Mirai Keisatsu Urashiman (Future Police Urashiman) (1983)
- Superbook Series Two (Pasokon Toraberu Tanteidan) (1983)
- The Time Bokan Series: Itadakiman (1983)
- Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (1983-1984)
- Starzan S (1984)
- Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (1984)
- Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984) (Animation production only, co-produced by Topcraft, created by Studio Nue)
- Yoroshiku Mechadoc (What's Up Mechadoc?, a.k.a. A Tutto Gas) (1984–1985)
- Honou no Alpine Rose (a.k.a. Judy and Randy) (1985)
- Shouwa Aho Soushi: Akanuke Ichiban (1985-1986)
- Megazone 23 (1985-1989) (co-production with AIC)
- Robotech An adaptation of Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada (1985)
- Robotech II: The Sentinels (co-production with Harmony Gold USA) (1986)
- Hikari no Densetsu (1986)
- Doteraman (1986-1987)
- Outlanders (animated by AIC on Tatsunoko's behalf; not listed on Tatsunoko's website) (1986)
- Akai Kodan Zillion (1987)
- Oraa Guzura Dado (color remake) (1987-1988)
- Akira (co-production with TMS Entertainment and Toho Company) (1988)
- Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato (1989)
- Time Travel Tondekeman (a.k.a. Time Quest Tondekema!) (1989-1990)
- Konchū Monogatari: Minashigo Hutch (new series) (1989-1990)
- Samurai Pizza Cats (Kyatto Ninden Teyande) (1990-1991)
- Robin Hood no Daibōken (1990-1991)
- Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato: Sōsei e no Antō (1991)
- The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird (1991, co-production with Sunrise)
- Uchu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade (Space Knight Tekkaman Blade; Teknoman in the U.S.) (1992-1993)
- The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (1993-1994)
- Casshan: Robot Hunter (1993)
- Video Girl Ai (1993; produced by IG Tatsunoko)
- Time Bokan: Royal Revival (1993-1994)
- Shirayuki Hime no Densetsu ("The Legend of Princess Snow White") (1994-1995)
- Tekkaman Blade II (1994)
- Gatchaman (1994)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995–96; Tatsunoko provided assistance with animation, main production by Gainax)
- Dokkan! Robotendon (1995-1996)
- Cinderella Monogatari (1996)
- New Hurricane Polymar (1996)
- Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer X) (1997)
- Generator Gawl (1998-1999)
- The Big O (1999-2003, Tatsunko did some production asistaiance, real production by Sunrise)
- Seikimatsu Densetsu: Wonderful Tatsunoko Land (1999)
- Tatsunoko Fight (PSX) (2000) (featuring an exclusive character, Denkou Senka Volter)
- Time Bokan 2000: Kaitou Kiramekiman (2000)
- The SoulTaker (2001)
- Yobarete Tobidete Akubi-chan (2001, spinoff of The Genie Family)
- Nurse Witch Komugi (co-production with Kyoto Animation) (2002)
- Martin Mystery (Tatsunoko provided assistance with the animation. Main production by Marathon Production) (2003-2006)
- Karas (2005) - Tatsunoko's 40th Anniversary work
- Akubi Girl (2006; remake to Yobarete Tobidete Akubi-chan)
- Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (co-production with Harmony Gold USA) (2006)
- Deltora Quest (co-production with Geneon Entertainment) (2007-2008)
- Yatterman (2008-2009; remake of 1977 Series)
- Casshern Sins (2008-2009; Remake of 1973 Series; animation production by Madhouse)
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes (Wii) (December 11, 2008)
- Beyblade: Metal Fusion (premiered April 5, 2009; co-production with SynergySP)
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Nintendo Wii) (January 26, 2010)
- Hutch the Honeybee ~Yuki no Melody~ (2010; movie remake of 1970 series)
- Yozakura Quartet ~Hoshi no Umi~ (2010; co-production with KMMJ Studios)
- Princess Resurrection (2010; remake of original TV series)
- [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (2011)
- Sket Dance (2011-2012)
- Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream (2011)
- Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future (2012)
- Ippatsu-Hicchuu! Devander (2012; OVA in celebration of Tatsunoko Productions' 50th Anniversary)
- Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san (2013)
- Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live (2013)
- Gatchaman Crowds (2013)
- Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~/Yozakura Quartet ~Tsuki ni Naku~ (2013)
- Triple Combination: Transformers Go! (2013)
- Wake Up, Girls! (2014; co-production with Ordet)
- Ping Pong (2014)
- PriPara (2014)
- Shurato (Movie edition: 2015, TV / OVA edition: 2016)
- "GATCHAMAN! The story of Tatsuo Yoshida and his greatest creation". Comic Book Resources. 2008-05-11.
- "'Speed Racer': drawing on an anime legend". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- AWN. "Anime Reviews: Stand Alone with Bokan & The Third | AWN | Animation World Network". Mag.awn.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Yahoo!ゲーム - タツノコファイト". Yahoo (in Japanese). 2000. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Takara acquires animation studio | The Japan Times Online[dead link]
- "石川社長が20年を語る 「プロダクション I.G 創立20周年記念展」開催中" (in Japanese). mycom.co.jp. 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "第25回 株式会社プロダクション I.G代表取締役社長 石川光久-その２-悔しさから独立、フリーに" (in Japanese). CodeZine. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Studio 2 Part 01: Kazuchika Kise and the birth of Studio 2". Production I.G. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Report: Tatsunoko, Marvel Aim for Joint TV Anime in 3 Years – News". Anime News Network. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Production I.G to Acquire 11.2% Stake in Tatsunoko". AnimeNewsNetwork. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- "English." Tatsunoko Production. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
- "HoriPro Agency Acquires Stake in Anime Studio Tatsunoko – News". Anime News Network. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Sentai Filmworks Signs Deal with Tatsunoko Production (Updated) - News". Anime News Network. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "NTV Buys 54.3% Stake in Anime Studio Tatsunoko Production". Anime News Network. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- "Tomy to sell Tatsunoko Production to TV station". Nikkei. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- "Nippon TV Acquires Shares of TATSUNOKO PRODUCTION Co., Ltd.". Nippon Television. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- Tatsunoko Production (Japanese)
- Tatsunoko Production (English)
- Tatsunoko Production at Anime News Network's encyclopedia